Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Double Star Cluster
Posted on 01/01/2013 8:31:16 AM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Few star clusters are seen to be so close to each other. Some 7,000 light-years away, though, this pair of open or galactic star clusters is an easy binocular target, a lovely starfield in the northern constellation Perseus. Also visible to the unaided eye from dark sky areas, it was cataloged in 130 BC by Greek astronomer Hipparchus. Now known as h and chi Persei, or NGC 869 (above right) and NGC 884, the clusters themselves are separated by only a few hundred light-years and contain stars much younger and hotter than the Sun. In addition to being physically close together, the clusters' ages based on their individual stars are similar - evidence that both clusters were likely a product of the same star-forming region.
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[Credit & Copyright: F. Antonucci, M. Angelini, & F. Tagliani, ADARA Astrobrallo]
APOD Editors to Speak:
Oooohhhh, sparkly! Happy New Year, Sunky!
I remember the first time I saw this one through binoculars. Almost fell out of my chair! It is right up there with the Pleiades as one of the best clusters.
Happy New Year!
Please ping me.
An excellent start to the New Year! Thanks for posting.
Happy new year!